They're everywhere, those Archibalds. We've no sooner finished congratulating Katie on bringing home gold from Rio than brother John pops up and grabs the Scottish "25" Mile Time Trial title. Here's what the most improved man in Scottish cycling had to say to VeloVeritas the day after his fine win where he relegated "50" and "100" champion, Jon Entwistle into silver medal spot by 25 seconds recording 50:03 to take gold.
We had a feeling we’d be chatting to this gentleman again, after the ‘100’ championship – and so it proved. Originally scheduled to be held up on the Cromarty Firth but postponed due to bad weather the Scottish ‘100’ championship was incorporated with the Furneaux Trophy in the Aberdeen District and won by their reigning ‘50’ champion, Jon Entwistle (Team JMC) – we caught up with him soon after he’d achieved his ‘double.’
A few Sundays ago we saw Tom Dumoulin time trialling his way to Tour de France stage glory in the thin-aired horror that is Andorra; but there was a much more important race against the watch going on in darkest North East Scotland – the Scottish ‘50’ Mile TT Championship. Back at the ‘10’ Champs, winner Chris Smart (GTR) told us that there was a ‘changing of the guard’ taking place in Scottish time trials – and so it proved, with new name, Jon Entwistle (Team JMC) taking the 50 mile honours in 1:44:45 from Chris (1:46:15) and 2015 champion, Alan Thomson (Sandy Wallace Cycles, 1:48:07).
One of VeloVeritas’ functions it seems is unlocking the memories of those stalwarts – like our own mentor and soothsayer, Viktor and indeed, our editor Martin - who beat a path in the 70’s and 80’s to the legendary Mrs. Deene’s boarding house in Gent (and later in Zomergem) to show those Belgies how it should be done. The latest epistle which came our way was from Norman Gower.
When Scottish Cycling Endurance Coach and seven times Scottish Road Race Champion, Evan Oliphant gets in touch to tell us there’s a junior rider named Callum Thornley that we should be speaking to, we snap to attention.
When Jos Ryan of the David Rayner Fund gets in touch then we know it’s not just to ask how we are. ‘Have you been keeping up with our rider, Toby Perry’s performances in Spain, he’s just had his second win?’ Fortunately for us, we could reply in the affirmative.
If you watched Stage One of the Giro on Eurosport or GCN then you’ll have heard that someone had the great idea to recruit British professional rider, Dan Bigham to join the commentary team as a ‘chrono specialist.’ Here at VeloVeritas we thought it would be good to put to Dan all those sad questions that trouble bike obsessives like us.
John Watson started racing at 18 years-of-age in 1966, his first race was a ‘25’ which he won with a 1:00. By the following year he was National ‘100’ Champion; in 1968 he went to the Mexico Olympics; in 1969 he set a 12 hour record which stood for a decade; 1970 saw him set a ‘50’ record which sliced nearly four minutes of the previous fastest time for the distance and lasted for 13 years, win the BBAR, get fourth place in the prestigious GP de France time trial and get offered a place with ACBB.